Often, after I give a speech, a new service business owner will hand me a piece of paper, on which eight or so almost identical versions of the same logo are displayed, and ask me which I think is best.
Maybe one logo might be more curvy than another. Maybe one uses a slightly different font. Or, maybe one is a lighter shade of blue than the others.
If they’re good enough I say with a smile, “Close your eyes, point at the paper, pick one, and get on with getting clients.”
Their response is usually about how they’ve been working on them for months and have been paying a designer a lot of money and that they want it to be perfect.
Of course they do. They want to be original, unique, distinct, and professional and they want their logo to represent those qualities.
But, when you’re a service professional like an attorney, financial planner, chiropractor, consultant, or coach, your logo doesn’t mean all that much. (Designers, please don’t hate me yet. Your faith will be restored in a minute.)
Can you tell me what my logo looks like?
Think… think harder…
You can’t. That’s because I don’t have one.
I have very specific style guides for all my products, books, etc. I LOVE design. I think it matters big time (Designers, you matter, big time!). But design and logos aren’t necessarily the same thing. Here’s a new look I created for my Alliance Mentoring Program. Simple, clean, stylish, and professional (at least, in my opinion) sans fancy logo. Sure, there’s a little thing in the upper left hand corner but it just has my initials on it. It’s good enough.
When you’re a service business owner, people are buying you and the results you can deliver.
If you can design a logo that is truly remarkable and gets people talking about you, then by all means, do so. But, if you’d rather spend your time selling your services, don’t waste your time on logos. I’d rather see you create a video that is remarkable or a teleclass that gets people talking or an always have something to invite people to event that is the hottest thing in town.
On the other hand, if you’re building a business that you plan on franchising or if you’re trying to start the next big clothing brand, music label, computer company, or charitable organization, then it might be a different story. Your logo
might does really matter.
You decide how to best use your time, however.
Successful entrepreneurs are generally very good at allocating resources to get the best return on investment. Time is one of the most valuable resources you have. What’s the best use of it? Doing logos or doing marketing?
Update #1: Please remember to consider the context of my comments about logos and to whom I’m speaking — THOSE WHO ARE STALLING. It seems that some of those that are pushing back think I don’t think design/branding matters. As I said, IT MATTERS BIG TIME.
Update #2: Take, for example, a few of my successful colleagues:
Brain Clark is Copyblogger
Scott Stratten is Unmarketing
Les Mckeown is Predicable Success
Pam Slim is Escape From Cubicle Nation
Michael Gerber is The E-Myth
Notice how they have all done a great job of branding an idea along with their name.
However, I can’t, for the life of me, picture a logo that accompanies the idea. In this case, it’s the name that matters and the person behind it.
Update #3: The Sharing icons below will let you share the post but they stopped counting the shares for some reason (in case you were wondering).